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Last eight promise quality quarters

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The battle for the 2008 Cockspur Cup is hotting up, with an extremely strong line-up through to the quarter-finals.

The big guns still in the competition at the sixth round stage were all successful. Bromley and Kibworth, last year’s finalists, have been joined by Chester-le-Street who lost to Kibworth in the semis last year and Sandiacre Town, the winners in 2003.

Waltham managed to get to their first quarter-final at the fifth attempt in the last six years; while Northern, who reached the sixth round for the first time last year, have gone one better and will have the chance to avenge last year’s defeat at Kibworth.

The other two teams left in the competition have never reached this stage before and by a quirk of fate Swansea will host Malden Wanderers. So there will be at least one new face in the semi-finals.

Quarter-final draw – matches to be played Sunday August 6
Chester-le-Street (Durham) v Sandiacre Town (Derbyshire)
Kibworth (Leicestershire) v Northern (Lancashire)
Bromley (Kent) v Waltham (Essex)
Swansea (Wales) v Malden Wanderers (Surrey)

Chester-le-Street batted first against Ockbrook & Borrowash and were soon in trouble at 12 for two, but opener Simon Birtwisle repaired the damage with a battling 80. When he departed with the score on 146 for five another collapse ensued as Chester-le-Street were reduced to 148 for seven, but the tail then wagged and the innings closed on 214 for nine.

Ockbrook & Borrowash started their reply reasonably well but three quick wickets reduced them to 51 for four. Charlie Ault (40) and Chris Dunn (74 not out) set about repairing the damage and when rain interrupted their reply the score was 107 for four in 27 overs. After the resumption three wickets fell reducing Ockbrook to 144 for seven and the run rate slowed with the innings eventually closing on 199 for eight, making Chester-le-Street winners by 15 runs.

Sandiacre Town made the long journey from Derbyshire to Kendal in Cumbria, won the toss, inserted their opposition and bowled their hosts out for 109 with James Chapman taking 3-31.

John Trueman (51 not out) led the Sandiacre reply as they coasted to an eight-wicket victory with nearly 15 overs to spare.

Last year’s runners-up, Kibworth, travelled to Knowle & Dorridge where the hosts batted first. Danny Broughton and Nick Ferraby both took three wickets as the home side were dismissed for 148.

With Greg Smith scoring 46 Kibworth won a close low-scoring match by two wickets and will now host Northern in the next round, after they overcame Farnworth by a margin of 11 runs.

The highest scoring game of the round was at St Helen’s in Swansea where Taunton St Andrews batted first and scored 236 for eight.

This total was built around an unbeaten 107 by Kevin Parsons and 76 by Mike Burns, with Jimmy Mugnaioni taking 5-55. Swansea's reply started with a whirlwind 68 by Rhodri Lloyd off 40 balls and this was followed by excellent batting from Mark Payne (67 not out), Rhodri Evans (49) and Rhys Lloyd (34 not out), with the target being reached with five overs to spare.

Havant hosted Malden Wanderers and the visitors’ Laurie Evans scored 110 off 118 balls before becoming one of four batsmen run out in the innings. The Malden innings closed on 226 for eight.

In reply Havant regularly lost wickets and at 135 for six were in some trouble. Richard Hindley (57) tried his best to use his vast experience to steady the ship but was running out of partners. Hindley was last out as the Havant innings closed on 202 with 3.3 overs left as they lost by 24 runs.

Bromley, the Cockspur Cup holders, visited Cambridge Granta in a repeat of last year’s quarter-final with great similarities between the two matches. This time around Bromley batted first but once again Nadeem Shahid took a liking to the Granta bowling as he went just one run better than last season and scored 120.

Bromley’s innings closed on 221 for nine, and Granta’s reply foundered against the spin of Grant Sheen, who took 5-29 as the Cambridge side were dismissed for 159.

A topsy-turvy match took place at Waltham as a depleted Henley side, as a result of their fund raising Ball the night before and Minor Counties call-ups, looked to be in the driving seat as they reduced their hosts to three for three and then 53 for six; Andrew White doing most of the early damage as he took 4-13.

At this juncture Khawar Ali Kazmi and Atta ur Rehman came together and batted sensibly as they rebuilt the Waltham innings, adding 91 for the seventh wicket. Chad Keegan, the ex-Middlesex pace bowler, then captured the wickets of both batsmen with two overs of spin as he took 2-7.

The Waltham innings closed on 162 for eight, and in reply Henley struggled from the start against the bowling of Atta ur Rehman (2-13) and Tanweer Sikandar (4-16) and were quickly 59 for eight.

The tailenders managed to add 49 for the last two wickets but by this stage the Henley challenge had realistically ended.

Sixth round results:

Chester-le-Street 214-9 (S Birtwisle 80) beat Ockbrook & Borrowash 190-8 by 24 runs
Kendal 109 lost to Sandiacre Town 110-2 (John Trueman 51*) by 8 wickets
Knowle & Dorridge 148 lost to Kibworth 149-8 by two wickets
Farnworth 159 lost to Northern 170-7 by 11 runs
Cambridge Granta 159 (G Sheen 5-29) lost to Bromley 221 (N Shahid 120) by 62 runs
Waltham 162-8 (K Kazmi 53, A White 4-13) beat Henley 108 (T Sikandar 4-11) by 54 runs
Swansea 239-3 (R Lloyd 68, M Payne 67*) beat Taunton St Andrews 236-8 (K Parsons 107, M Burns 76, Jimmy Mugnaioni 5-55)
Havant 202 (R Hindley 57) lost to Malden Wanderers 226-8 (L Evans 110) by 24 runs